HOWRAH: On the occasion of 'National Youth Day', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday highlighted the importance of youngsters and said that their energy is the basis of changing India in the 21st century.
"We have all seen how the country's youth took to the street in a fight against corruption a few years ago. It seemed that changing the situation would be difficult. The youth changed that as well," the Prime Minister said while addressing people at Belur Math, which is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
"The energy of youth is the basis of changing India in the 21st century. The target of New India can only be achieved by all of you. It is the youth that says 'Let's not postpone problems'. The youth will always challenge problems and solve them. Challenge the challenge...," he said.
He also said that the initiatives including water conversation and shunning single-use plastic will only become successful with the participation of people.
"In the last five years, the youth has proven that they can make any mission successful if they join in. There was a sense of negativity over India's cleanliness until five years ago. The youth lead from the front and change can be seen everywhere," Modi said.
"Until five years ago, a lot of people doubted India's ability to digitalise its payment network. Today, India stands as one of the fastest-growing digital networks in the world," he said.
Prime Minister Modi, who arrived in Kolkata on Saturday for a two-day visit had earlier paid tribute to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary.
He asserted the duty of citizens is equally important as their rights.
"Our Constitution and culture expect us to fulfill our responsibility as a citizen with honesty. After 70 years of independence, we have heard a lot about rights. We have made people aware of them. But now the duty of every Indian should be equally important," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that people must always remember Swami Vivekananda's iconic saying 'give me 100 energetic youth and I shall transform India'.
"Our energy, and passion to do something, is necessary for change. On the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda here in Belur Math, it is my honour and luck to spend some time in a room where he used to live. I could feel as if he's inspiring us to work harder and was helping us with more energy," he said.
"Swami Vivekananda had said that we should forget everything and dedicate our life to Mother India. Let's walk on that dream," he said.